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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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" It would be absurd to pretend/' wrote Eve Curie, very cautiously ex-
pressing her opinion in her diary c Journey Among Warriors' (p. 269),
after visiting Kuibyshev in January, 1942," to pretend that anything like a
friendship had a chance to develop in the Soviet Union between the Russians
and the liberated Poles. There were certain grim facts that only time could
shroud in forgetfulness.
" How dramatic the Russian-Polish relations still appeareds though, when
one examined them, not on the paper, but in their crude and human reality!
" The Soviet' transfer' of population (to put it mildly), involving one
section of Polish people or more, had had such cruel and far-reaching con-
sequences that it could not be 6 straightened out > within a few weeks or
months, even with the goodwill of both the former captives and the former
jailers."
The Colonel of the N.K.V.D. security forces, Aron Volkoviski, was
appointed as the liaison officer to the Polish Headquarters. He endeavour-
ed to penetrate as deeply as he could into the heart of the Polish Army
and to unite it psychologically with the Red Army. The first part of his
task was easy but he encountered many unsurmountable obstacles in the
path of the second, not only because the Poles belonged to the Western
civilisation, but also because their experiences while in Russia had left a
mark on them which could not easily be eradicated.
The Soviet authorities established a far-reaching net of espionage
around the newly created Polish Army. Correspondence was opened and
read; there was the instance where Vyshinsky, Vice-Commissar of
Foreign Affairs, on May 6th, 1943, unscrupulously quoted extracts to
foreign correspondents. Several of the N.K.V.D. agents sent as recruits
to the Polish units were unmasked. Any information received through
the Soviet's Intelligence Service could only convince the Russian authori-
ties that the Poles had their own national ideas. In fact, their enforced
stay in Soviet prisons and labour camps had not influenced their views in
this direction in the slightest, nor had it converted them to the Communist
order., a point which Sikorski made quite clear in his broadcast to his
people.
There was no mystery about the fact that Poles are, and always will be
Poles, and have no wish to be Russian Communists. A determination
perfectly comprehensible to every free nation, but a conviction which
under tie Soviet rule, is synonymous with opposition and revolt against
the existing order. It is worth-while noting at this juncture that most of
the Russian efforts to sow intrigufc and discord in the Polish Army and
thereby gain the means to intervene in its affairs were not so much among
the lower ranks, as among the officer class. The mass of Polish soldiers
constituted the toughest of men, all of whom had passed through the hell of
labour camps and exile and for whom Soviet Communism was now
identified with that poverty, suffering and persecution. They were prepared
to fight the Germans as they had already fought in 1939 if the condition
was freedom for their country and an ultimate return to life as they had
known it in the easier, happier times.
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